Australian supremo slams IRL as “a toothless tiger” as he calls for NRL to run world rugby league

AUSTRALIAN supremo Phil Gould has called on the NRL to run world rugby league, slamming the International Rugby League board as “a toothless tiger” in the wake of England’s fixture against France at the weekend.

England ran out 40-8 winners in front of 4,500 people at Toulouse’s Stade Ernest Wallon, but the fixture has been heavily criticised following the poor crowd, lack of broadcast accessibility and the one-sided showing.

In recent years, there have been calls for the NRL to take their hefty influence in Australia to the rest of the world, with the governing body already taking games to Las Vegas, USA in a bid to expand the rugby league product.

Now, Gould has emphasised the need for a total international shake-up – and for the NRL to head it.

“The international board is a toothless tiger and just sort of fills in with international football when it can. We need a rolling five year calendar for domestic rugby league, international rugby league and other forms of representative football right across the board. It can only be done if you’ve got one governing body for the lot,” Gould told The Courier Mail.

“I spoke to the NRL Commission about this and said that unless you do it, then international rugby league will never realise its full potential.

“I think from an international standpoint, if the NRL was running world Rugby League, then we could go to a five and ten year calendar and organise our domestic competition and international as well.

“It’s not necessarily about doing it to bring players over to play in the NRL. It’s to make the Super League strong. We need Great Britain to be strong. There’s still an opportunity in Europe and France to resurrect the game and get it back to a very strong hold there.”

Gould has also called for the rugby league world to exploit the current boom of the sport in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

“We need Pacific islands developed and we need New Zealand particularly. There is a real opportunity for rugby league in New Zealand at the moment.

“I’m talking about 10, 20, 30 years down the track what the game is going to be like. I’m talking If we’re still bumbling around doing what we’re doing now, then we haven’t used the money wise and we haven’t advanced it.”

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